Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?

Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."

To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."

As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."

Into Deep Water: A Leap of Faith

Posted by Jacob

Today, we read three readings, which highlight our sinfulness and our redemption through the answering of the call of the Lord.
Isaiah, coming face to face with the angels and Seraphim of heaven, declares his reluctance to answer the Lord’s call, due to his worry and sinfulness.  But following the Lord's forgiveness and grace, he answers the call readily, crying out "Here I am, Lord!  Send me!"

5 Then I said, "Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with it. "See," he said, "now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged." 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" "Here I am," I said; "send me!" (Isaiah, 6:5-8).

Similarly, Saint Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, plainly sets forth our beliefs: that Christ died for us, and later rose from the dead—again for us—to redeem our sins. But even in doing so, Paul declares his sinfulness, and the grace of the Lord as that which gives him the ability and strength to preach the Gospel.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. (1 Corinthians, 15:9-10).

Lastly, in Saint Luke’s beautiful Gospel, we find Jesus teaching the crowds, who are so eager to hear what He has to say, they press in around Him, forcing Him onto Peter’s boat and out into the water. Following His teaching, Jesus suggests to Peter that he take the boat from shallow water, into deeper water, and recast his empty nets. Peter recounts that he has been fishing all night, toiling without success, but does as the Lord requests. The bounty of fish pulled in threatens to sink his boat, as well as that of James and John, who he calls for assistance.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." 9 For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, 10 and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." 11 When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:8-11).

Even, Peter, who would fill a holy role in the creation of the Church on earth, recognizes his sinfulness, and begs the Lord to leave him. Jesus, however, is not to be deterred, and the three—Peter, James, and John—leave their lives’ work and follow him.

It is the same with us. The Lord calls us, despite our sins. He loves us, regardless of our faults. He fills us with His grace, even when we feel we are undeserving. We resist, and He is not deterred.  Jesus guides us gently into the deep water of our lives, and when we listen to Him, the abundance of His blessings is overwhelming. We simply have to trust. We have to acknowledge our imperfection without Him. We have to open ourselves to His unending love, and listen for the call. And when we hear it, we have to have faith.  We have to answer it—even if that means plunging into the deep water.

Day 38 of 365

Prayer Intentions: Faith in Christ; The courage to follow!
Requested Intentions: Priests and leaders of the Church (L)
Special Intentions: Novena to Our Lady of Prompt Succor, for those who are struggling in the face of personal trials and tribulations, unemployment and financial stress, natural disasters (including the poor of Haiti), poverty, war, and exploitation. May Our Lady of Prompt Succor hasten to help us!


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